Tornadoes and severe winds strike central US as another round of rain and snow to pummel the West and North

Central US Struck by Tornadoes and Severe Winds as Another Round of Rain and Snow Expected to Pummel West and North

As the central US was hit by severe winds causing overnight tornado reports, another set of storms bringing snow, rain, and harsh winds are predicted to hit areas stretching from Washington state to southern California and across the Great Lakes region on Monday. These storms will pummel areas where hundreds of thousands are still without power after a similar barrage of severe weather last week.

According to PowerOutage.us, at least two tornadoes were confirmed in Oklahoma, where more than 50,000 energy customers were without power late Sunday evening. More than 90 other storm reports, including wind and hail, were recorded in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, where hurricane-force winds and severe thunderstorms tore through the states. In Memphis, Texas, a gust of 114 mph was recorded, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.

In anticipation of severe winds and potential hail, an Air Force unit at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, relocated most of its aircraft to protect them from damage and ensure they can still be deployed if needed.

In the West, rain and high-elevation snow will push from the Pacific Northwest down into California and into the Rockies through Monday, where last week’s storms prompted rare blizzard warnings and road flooding in California. Yosemite National Park was closed on Saturday due to severe weather and will not reopen until at least Wednesday as a multi-day blizzard warning remains in effect across Yosemite Valley, the park announced. Yosemite Valley could see as much as 55 to 84 inches of snow by Wednesday.

Approximately 360,000 homes and businesses were without power across the US as of early Monday, with nearly half of them in Michigan, where the Great Lakes region is bracing for another round of ice and snow on Monday after being struck by last week’s multi-day storm. The winter storm is then expected to push into the Northeast by Monday afternoon, where interior parts of the region could see widespread snowfall totals of 6 to 12 inches.

Meanwhile, the South is anticipating another week of unusually warm winter temperatures after steaming under record-breaking highs last week. Dozens of daily high temperature records could be broken again in the coming days as areas of southern Texas and the Florida peninsula could see temperatures into the 90s.

More than 20 million people were under threat of severe storms stretching from western Texas to Illinois on Sunday. The Storm Prediction Center forecast a severe storm event known as a derecho would sweep through the region Sunday afternoon and into the evening, with a particular focus on parts of Oklahoma. A derecho is a widespread, long-lived windstorm that typically causes damage in one direction across a relatively straight path, according to the National Weather Service.

In total, more than 100 storm reports were made on Sunday across the Southern Plains, mainly of wind across Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. This also includes 13 hail reports in those states, with several hailstones reportedly 1.75 inches in diameter. A dozen families were displaced by a tornado in Liberal, Kansas, and about ten trailers were damaged.

For those interested in learning more about the impact of climate change on storms in the Western United States, I recommend reading this article on weather.com titled “Weather Alert: The Impact Of Climate Change On Storms In The Western U.S.” The article discusses how climate change is causing more intense and frequent storms in the region, including more winter storms, floods, and wildfires. It also highlights the need for communities to prepare and adapt to these changing weather patterns. With the recent severe storms affecting the US, it’s crucial to understand the role climate change is playing in these weather events and take action to address it.